27 April 2012

You're a rank sentimentalist

As you may or may not know, last evening, I attended a special 70th Anniversary screening of Casablanca. Upon entering the theater, I was instantly struck by how many people there were. I mean, the theater looked just about full, and even after my friend and I took our seats, people were still filing in. And the best part about it all was the range of ages that were in attendance. I noticed that some people had brought along their kids, which made me want to high-five them. Hell, I wanted to high-five everybody that was there.

The lights dimmed, the room hushed, and the audience was treated to an introduction to the film by none other than the host of Turner Classic Movies, Robert Osborne. The introduction included some background information about the film, reminiscences by those who worked on it, and some famous faces discussing what Casablanca means to them.

And so the movie began. Watching it, I felt almost as if I was seeing it for the first time. And at the end, I felt so satisfied. It's been a long time since I've felt that way after seeing a movie. My favorite part was the collective applause (and I may or may not have spotted a standing ovation out of the corner of my eye) when the picture ended. Although I was kind of hoping for some applause at the beginning, when the title came upon the screen,  some applause for Humprey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman's first appearances, and for Victor Laszlo's rousing rendition of La Marseillaise, alas, there was none.

The only setback was when some asshat's telephone rang...and he actually answered it and had a conversation! However, there was basically nothing that could have went down during that screening that would have dampened my spirits. I paid $11.50 for my ticket, but honestly, and I don't really give a damn how lame this sounds, it was a totally priceless experience. What a night.

Next week, they are screening the 1927 silent classic Wings, starring Clara Bow. I may or may not be going.

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